How can digital technology help students’ wellbeing at university?

This year’s Tech Partnership Degrees’ North event takes place on 14th November 2018, where Tech Industry Gold degree students from across the UK will present a tech concept to impress employers.  The competition details sponsored by O2 are now revealed.

Students can at times find life at university tough. A 2017 survey undertaken by the University Partnerships Programme found that 87% of first-year students find it difficult to cope with social or academic aspects of university life, citing increasingly competitive job markets, study costs and moving away from friends and family as just some of the reasons why their environment can be the cause of stress and anxiety.

Your challenge is to produce a concept that could, through the use of technology, address these issues and help your university and your fellow students to maximise the enjoyment of academic life. Your concept could be localised to your own university or could involve any number of additional institutions, academic or otherwise.

Your challenge:

How could digital technologies increase student wellbeing and help them cope with the pressures of university life?

It is recommended that you:

  • Perform research to define the problem your concept tackles. Who would use it and what benefits it would provide?
  • Ensure your concept takes advantage of current and future digital technologies and is a unique concept in digital wellbeing.
  • Consider the potential impact, the pros, and cons which your concept may have on the university community.
  • Consider the features that give your concept the competitive edge and set it above anything similar.

The judging panel will be led by O2 and will include other IT leaders from industry.

First-year students:

Create an A1 poster to illustrate and explain your concept and form the basis of your presentation to the judges.

Make the poster as creative and memorable as possible – the judges will see many entries on the day so ensure your concept stands out.

Present in a clear and concise way to include:

  • The ‘elevator pitch’ for your concept. The problem it tackles, the benefits it provides, and who would use it.
  • The outcome of the research you performed, customer insights, potential challenges and risks you’ve identified.
  • The technology and implementation options you’ve considered – an app, a website or something entirely different.

Bring the poster with you on the day and keep it safe until your allotted presentation slot.

Talk to your university if you need help printing your poster as most universities will have these facilities on site or your course leader can assist.

Second, final years and MSci students:

Create a professional presentation and if possible demonstrate a simple prototype to showcase your concept to the judges.

Present in a clear and concise way to include:

  • The ‘elevator pitch’ for your concept. The problem it tackles, the benefits it provides, and who would use it.
  • The outcome of the research you performed, customer insights, potential challenges and risks you’ve identified.
  • The technology and implementation options you’ve considered – an app, a website or something entirely different.
  • The concept in action through a simple/minimal prototype.
  • How you’ve tested and validated your concept with potential users.

Also, consider how you planned your team activities, roles and responsibilities. What went well, what didn’t go well and what you would do differently next time? You may be asked to reflect upon this in the Q&A.

Please bring your presentation on a USB stick. Don’t feel constrained to just a PowerPoint presentation, consider other creative ways to bring your concept and insights to life. There will be a laptop in the room with access to the Internet if you need it. Please avoid bringing your own laptop as this causes delays setting up.

Extra Reading

Here are a few articles to help you begin your research. You will be scored points for your knowledge of the topic as it relates to your concept.

Social and emotional wellbeing in secondary education

Student mental wellbeing in higher education

Wellbeing at university: why support is a priority

Top tips for wellbeing

The invisible problem? Improving students’ mental health

Five steps to mental wellbeing

Look after yourself

Wise up – Prioritising wellbeing in schools

How to tell which universities are taking student mental health seriously: a guide

Fewer university students say they are happy and believe lives to be worthwhile, survey finds

Student mental health support must improve, universities told

Student mental health ‘failing a generation

Student mental health must be top priority – universities minister

Student Minds

It’s time for universities to put student mental health first

Eleven sketches inspired by the university mental health crisis – in pictures

Prizes:

TBC

Timings:

  • Presentation time: 7 mins (you will be stopped if you go over time).
  • Questions and answers from judges: 3 mins.
  • Immediate judge feedback and reflection: 5 mins.
  • Winners will be announced at the winners showcase at the end of the day.

Register your team:

To compete in this competition, you must be a fully registered team prior to the event.

Instructions for entering a team:

Get your teams together asap – we recommend no more than 6-8 participants and a minimum of 2 participants (see the small print for full team instructions)

To submit a team, you must register your team at info@tpdegrees.com by midnight on Friday 2nd November 2018 with the following information; names of (ideally) all of the participants, your university and a preferred lead email address, should we need to get in touch with your group.

N.B. We do not need your competition idea before the day. If you are having knock-out rounds at your university after this date, please just let us know that you will be submitting a team and provide us with the names when you can.

The small print (please read)

  • One team per university is permitted for the first year competition and two teams for the second/final year competition. It is recommended that you choose your final team(s) to represent your university on the day of the event by having ‘knock out rounds’ at your university before the event. The TP Degrees team can assist with this, so do contact us at info@tpdegrees.com if you wish for us to be involved in the this at your university.
  • If your university offers both the ITMB and SEfB degrees, you may submit teams from each course. However, you may wish to merge your teams with both ITMB and SEfB to better access different skills.
  • IMPORTANT: Any teams that do not register before the day cannot be added to the schedule on the day of the event, so do ensure you let us know you are submitting a team beforehand.
  • If you’ve registered but can no longer take part, you must let us know before the day – this is important because it can impact on the day’s schedule.

This year’s competition has been developed by O2.